Gran Torino

ImageGran Torino is a 2008 drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood.  The movie is about Walt Kowalski, a disgruntled Korean War veteran whose wife recently dies.  His neighborhood becomes populated mostly by poor Asian immigrants.  He becomes a common witness of gang violence in his neighborhood, and threatens to kill an Asian boy for unwillingly attempting to steal his Gran Torino.  The boy, Thao, explains to Walt that he was forced to try to steal the car by his cousin, who is a leader of a gang in the neighborhood.  Walt believes Thao and has him do several jobs for him for payment and so that he can stay hidden from his cousin.  Thao’s family praises Walt for protecting Thao, and Walt reluctantly accepts their hospitality.  The film focuses very heavily on the relationship between Walt and Thao’s family, as Thao’s family begins to consider him so close as to be a member of their family.  An issue shown in the movie is racial tension, as Thao’s family accepts Walt but Walt refuses to get involved with their family and culture.  Over time the tension between Walt and the family eases, and he begins to see the family as hospitable neighbors rather than annoyances.  The continuous incidents of gang violence occurring in the neighborhood unite Walt and Thao’s family, as Walt provides constant protection for the family.  Clint Eastwood does an outstanding and classic job of portraying himself as a hero and guardian of the family.

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